Energy Drinks and Students

The adverse effects

For the majority of people, plain water is the most hydrating beverage, although sports and energy drinks are promoted to people who exercise or need an energy boost to get through the day.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe energy drinks namely Red Bull, Monster, Bang, and 5-hour Energy as a type of beverage that frequently contains high levels of caffeine, additional sugars, other ingredients, and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine.

Despite the wide variety of reasons why people choose to drink energy drinks, college students frequently use them. University students should be made more aware of the components and health risks of energy drinks, particularly when mixing them with alcoholic beverages.  These stimulants are lawful and can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate in addition to increasing alertness, focus, and energy. 

According to data from the National Institutes of Health, men between the ages of 18 and 34 consume the most energy drinks while nearly one-third of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 frequently consume them.  85% of Americans drink at least one caffeinated beverage daily.  25% of college students also drink energy drinks mixed with alcohol which can place you at risk for emergency hospitalization leading to congestive heart failure.  In 2011, the use of energy drinks was linked to more than 20,000 visits to emergency rooms in the US.

Five of the 11 patients in a short 2014 review who had major heart issues, including cardiac arrest, admitted to drinking a lot of energy drinks.  

Students frequently utilize these beverages to give themselves an energy boost. The stimulants in these beverages, however, have the potential to impair the nervous system.  

Although they are occasionally mistaken for sports drinks, energy drinks are a totally different kind of product. They have a high caffeine content and at least as much sugar as soda and are advertised to boost energy and alertness. About 200 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of brewed coffee, can be included in several energy drinks. B vitamins and herbs like ginseng and guarana may be added as well as other compounds that are said to boost energy. 

The second most common component in energy drinks, after water, is sugar. A nutritional analysis reveals that an energy drink has 41 grams of sugar compared to 39 grams in a 12-ounce cola drink. Based on research from the Nutritional Source at Harvard School of Public Health, consuming high-sugar beverages of any kind has been linked to weight gain, an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.  There is concern that these drinks may not be beneficial to young adults and those with specific medical issues, and even worse, they may be dangerous due to the amount of sugar and stimulant chemicals.  

People who are feeling fatigued or who think caffeine can provide them with an advantage when exercising or participating in competitive sports may find it appealing to sip on a beverage that provides instant energy. Youth and young adults are among the biggest consumers of energy drinks, despite disclaimers on their websites cautioning that these drinks may not be good for health. Teenagers, university students studying all night for examinations, as well as young athletes before a crucial game, may all take energy drinks. 

Although some controlled studies have demonstrated a transient improvement in alertness and reversal of exhaustion after consuming energy drinks as well as better physical performance in young athletes, the bulk of studies indicate a link with adverse health effects. High levels of stress, aggressive behaviors, binge drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, poor sleep, poor cognitive health, brain underdevelopment, cardiac and nerve anomalies, sleep disorders, stomach discomfort, and narrowing blood vessels are a few of these effects.

Bottom line is that water is the best beverage to be consumed with and in between meals because it has no calories and is free for the majority of people. People may substitute energy drinks for coffee or tea as a source of caffeine. The normal individual may not need the large levels of sugar, vitamins, and herbs that they also contain. Energy drinks can be harmful to anyone especially those who are already ill, pregnant women, and people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Students who wish to drink energy drinks should read the label and avoid purchasing the product.  The sales of energy drinks have increased over the past few decades, and they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Science nonetheless advises avoiding them if at all feasible despite the apparently healthy claims they make.

Overall, there are a lot of better alternatives to energy drinks, making it simpler to avoid them in order to safeguard your health. You’ll have the most energy if you stay hydrated, exercise daily for at least thirty minutes, and eat regular meals with balanced, healthy snacks in between.

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